100th Anniversary of the First Flight in Canada - Proof Set (2009)
On February 23, 1909, on a frozen lake in Nova Scotia, a silver-winged "aerodrome" amazed onlookers as it flew 0.8 km (0.5 mi) to complete the first airplane flight in Canada. Designed and built by the Aerial Experiment Association under Alexander Graham Bell, the Silver Dart flew 50 times before being destroyed during military trials; around the world the potential value of flight in war was fast being discovered.
Indeed, the First World War was the first to witness air combat. By the end of the Second World War, Canada had established itself as a leader in aviation. It had built some of the best bombers of the war. On March 25, 1958, the mesmerizing and equally intriguing Avro Arrow made its historic maiden flight as one of the most advanced aircrafts of its time.
Building planes also meant testing them and pushing their limits. In 1942, 431 Bomber Squadron was formed and flew many successful missions during the Second World War. Over the years, it has been disbanded and re-launched and is best known today as the Snowbirds. Their breathtaking maneuvers are world-renowned and seem a universe away from the tentative flight made by the Silver Dart a century ago.
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